Every year, my mother-in-law and I have a Ravioli Festivoli. Its a tradition around Christmastime where we make and freeze hundreds of raviolis. I’m going to cut to the chase here and post recipe here. I hate reading stories on recipes, just get to it already! In case you feel similarly, here is a recipe for my mother-in-law’s late mother’s homemade ravioli recipe.
For the dough;
3 cups AP unbleached flour
Pinch of Kosher salt
For the filling:
1 lb cremini mushrooms, roasted and minced
1 15 oz container ricotta cheese, or make your own if you have the time
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp dried herbes de Province, MIL makes hers fresh from her garden
Salt and pepper to taste
Begin with your 3 cups of flour on a marble or wood counter top/cutting board. You want a smooth and non-porous surface. Shape your mound into a low well by placing your hand in the middle of your flour and swirling your hand gently until you contact the cutting board. The flour should be round, about the size of a dinner plate, and 2 inches tall on the outside, with a well in the middle. You’ve just created a little flour bowl to contain the next ingredient – eggs!
Crack two eggs into a small bowl and whisk until combined. Dump them in the middle of your well and start slowly incorporating flour from the sides of your well in circular motions. You can use a fork or your hands for this. Keep incorporating more flour until the mixture thickens. Make sure the mixture is well incorporated before you add more flour. Once you start forming a ball with your dough, begin kneading with your hands. Fold the dough back on itself over and over for about 3 minutes until your dough is springy and smooth. If you poke your finger gently into the dough, it should spring back on you slightly. If there are little bits of flour that did not incorporate, just discard them.
Allow your dough to rest at room temperature under a lightly damp cloth for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, knead the dough for another minute. Allow to rest another 15 minutes, then knead again. Rest one more time for 15 minutes and then the dough is ready!
To make the filling, roast your mushrooms. This can be done in a pan on the stovetop or in the oven. Mince once roasted in a food processor, then combine all other ingredients into a bowl and let rest until ready. Put in the fridge and chill until ready to use.
You can use a fancy machine to make your ravioli, but MIL and I just used our hands to make a mezza luna, or “half moon” shape. Roll out your dough with a heavy rolling pin until your dough is about 1/8 inch thick. The best way to keep your dough from sticking is to keep your dough moving on the board with plenty of flour. Roll the rolling pin from the center outward, then rotate your dough 90 degrees, and roll again. Rotate, then roll again. Keep flouring your surface. Do not be shy with the flour. Use a cookie cutter or jar lid to cut out two-inch rounds of dough.
Once all your circles are cut, fill with 1 tsp of the filling at a time. It is very important to not over-stuff these, as they will burst open upon boiling. Fold over the dough and crimp the filling closed with a fork. The crimping creates a delicious texture in these delicate dumplings. Continue forming all ravioli. The leftover dough from cutting is not best when re-kneaded, so just discard your extra or cut into fun pasta shapes for later.
You can cook fresh or freeze in a single layer on a baking sheet until firm. Once frozen, store in zip storage bags in the freezer for up to a month.
To cook, boil a large pot of water. Salt liberally. Drop your pasta and cook about 2 minutes, until the ravioli float to the top. This will not take long so do not walk away from the pot!
Serve with marinara or simply butter, salt, and pepper. These dumplings are delicate, so you do not want to over-power them with sauce.